Thursday, May 19th is Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), and 2022 is the 11th GAAD overall!
2021’s GAAD marked its tenth anniversary, which saw the arrival of the GAAD Foundation, which will work to help more than one billion people with disabilities or impairments worldwide.
Countless organizations and businesses around the globe celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day, including Apple and, yes, Time Timer, to not only bring awareness to the issue of digital accessibility, but to take the steps necessary to make digital inclusiveness a reality.
What is Global Accessibility Awareness Day?
GAAD is a day designated for spreading awareness of and getting people involved in creating digital inclusivity and access for people whose disabilities hinder their digital experience.
GAAD is celebrated on the third Thursday of every May.
Defining Digital Accessibility
You may be wondering what is meant, exactly, by digital accessibility.
Georgetown Law defines digital accessibility as “the inclusive practice of removing barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to websites, digital tools and technologies, by people with disabilities.”
We can readily think of examples in the physical world that foster accessibility, such as adding on-ramps for those who use wheelchairs, but examples of digital accessibility may not be so obvious.
We have a large list of examples of assistive technologies on our blog here, which includes our Time Timers which have been long-recognized as being effective time-management tools for people with Autism and ADHD.
Other examples include adding captions to video content for the deaf and hard of hearing (HOH), and alternative keyboards for people with motor impairments.
History of GAAD
It all began with just one blog post made by a web developer in Los Angeles named Joe Devon.
Joe Devon’s blog post was shared on Twitter, where it was seen by a Toronto-based accessibility professional named Jennison Asuncion. Jennison reached out to Joe, and before you knew it, Global Accessibility Awareness Day was put into motion.
They were a perfect match: Many of Joe’s connections in the world of web development and people within Jennison’s network of accessibility professionals soon came on board.
Big Advances Made Since GAAD 2021
As mentioned above, GAAD’s 10th anniversary saw the establishment of the GAAD Foundation.
In just the past year alone, there have been hundreds of events dedicated to connecting disabled or impaired people with each other and to non-disabled people who want to play a part in effecting change in the world of digital accessibility.
Among these events includes webinars that teach web designers the essentials for making their website digitally inclusive.
Another event called Youth Innovation Projects on Global Accessibility, hosted on the day of GAAD 2022, provides a forum for Special Olympics Youth to come together and work out ways to make their schools and communities more inclusive and accessible.
And those are just a sampling of the events GAAD has set up for this year. For more information about those events, check out the list on GAAD’s website.
For more information about getting involved, check out GAAD’s “Participation” page.
Time Timer’s Intuitive Assistance Tools
Creating products that ensure greater accessibility has long been a passion and goal of Time Timer, and we are proud that our products have been recognized by a host of experts on disabilities, particularly Autism and ADHD.
People with Autism may find the immediacy of the readily visible glimpse of “how much longer” is left on a certain task or activity.
For those with vision or hearing impairments, Time Timer’s large colored disk can make it easy to tell time without having to worry about hearing the alarm, or looking at a traditional clock’s hard-to-glimpse numbers and clock hands.
People with Down syndrome also benefit from the ease of oral communication of passing time with the visual rundown of the Time Timer.
Time Timer is Committed to Digital Accessibility
For a fuller list of the many ways that Time Timer promotes accessibility in a wide range of environments, and our products that are best designed for accessibility, check out our page here.